How to Prepare the Ground Before Laying Artificial Grass

How to Prepare the Ground Before Laying Artificial Grass

Artificial turf is great for so many reasons. It’s easy to manage. It saves money. It’s good for the environment. It always looks good. You can see why so many people choose it.

The biggest ordeal tied to artificial turf is installation. Professional artificial grass installation is available, but it’s always good to know what kind of preparation needs to be done before the turf can be laid.

Here are some tips on how to prepare the ground before laying artificial grass.

1. Clear the Ground

Grass, weeds, or any other plant growth is bad for your turf. It can grow through the layers and damage everything. It also looks terrible to have natural growth in the middle of turf. To prevent this, the first step in prepping the ground is clearing it of plant life.

For plants that you like, you can try to transplant them to a different spot that won’t interfere with the turf. For anything else, ground-clear herbicides will make everything easier. You’re not planning to ever grow plants where the turf goes, so you can use the strong stuff. Kill the plants and completely uproot them. This is the vital first step.

2. Prepare Drainage

The second thing you want to do is manage drainage. This is a very important factor in preparing the ground before laying down artificial grass.

If water pools on the turf, it can cause a lot of problems, so you want to make sure that isn’t an issue. A lot of this depends on location. If the turf is going on a relatively high spot where pooling isn’t a concern, the next step is going to handle a lot of drainage issues, so there’s little work to do here.

If the turf area does pool, you want to dig and install adequate drainage to resolve the issue. You can use a ton of different drainage options. As long as pooling is no longer an issue before the turf is installed, you’re good on this front.

3. Compact the Soil

After leveling, it’s important to compact the soil to create a solid base for the artificial grass. This can be done using a hand tamper for small areas or a plate compactor for larger areas. Compacting the soil helps prevent it from settling unevenly later on, which could cause the artificial grass to look bumpy.

4. Lay the Base

This is the crux of what most people consider turf preparation. The ground is clear, and drainage is resolved. Now you’re going to move some earth.

The essence of this step is to create a level pad for turf installation. To do that, you’re going to remove about three inches of topsoil from the installation area.

Once the ground is removed, it is replaced with crushed rock, sand, or gravel. This filler constitutes the turf base. After three inches of base is added, it is packed. Additional base filler is added again to get back up to the ground level. It’s packed again, and the process is repeated until there is a firm base that is even with the ground.

The end result should be a firm, level base. This base can handle a fair amount of water absorption, and it helps prevent weed growth (although more intervention is necessary). It also ensures that the turf will be comfortable underfoot and won’t shift over time.

5. Stop Weeds

You’re almost ready for the turf itself. The last preparation step is weed prevention.

The weeds are gone. The base makes it harder for weed seeds to germinate, but it’s still not impossible. You want a quality weed barrier to go over the base. This creates multiple layers of weed protection, and together, they make it nigh impossible for weeds to get through everything.

Your base already puts a few inches of infertile rock between seeds and the soil they need to grow. That’s a great start. The weed barrier then prevents sunlight from reaching the base. This stops germination before it can occur.

It also adds a layer that keeps seeds from getting to the soil. The turf that goes on top of the weed barrier will be the third level of defense, and those three levels are almost always enough.

6. Install the Turf

Preparation is done. It’s time for the turf to be installed. When we install turf, including fake grass rental options, we go through several layers and a multistep process. Rather than take you through all of that, we can simplify. We’ll install every level of turf, and that process will largely depend on the type of turf, such as fake grass rental, you select. When the installation is complete, you will have a lush green lawn that is level, pleasant underfoot, protected from weeds, safe from flooding, and beautiful all year long.

7. Secure and Finish

Finally, secure the edges of the artificial grass with landscaping nails or adhesive. Brush the grass fibers upright if necessary, and add infill material to help keep the blades standing up and to add weight to the grass, keeping it in place.

When you understand the preparation necessary for installation, it’s easier to gauge how much of the process you want to handle on your own. Most of it is pretty easy, but compacting the base is best done with electric equipment. We can handle preparation as part of the installation process, but if you prefer to manage aspects of it on your own, we’re happy to work with you on that.

FAQs: About Prepping the Ground for Artificial Turf

What Is The Best Base to Lay Artificial Grass?

The best base for laying artificial grass, as recommended by LawnPop, involves removing about three inches of topsoil and replacing it with crushed rock, sand, or gravel. This material serves as the turf base, which is then packed down and layered until it is firm and level with the ground. This process ensures a stable foundation that can handle water absorption, prevents weed growth, and maintains the turf’s comfort and appearance over time.

What Tools Are Needed To Install An Artificial Grass Base?

Installing an artificial grass base requires several tools for effective preparation. While the document does not list specific tools, the process described by LawnPop typically involves using shovels for clearing the ground and removing topsoil, a hoe or similar tool for applying ground clear herbicides, and equipment for digging and installing drainage if necessary. For compacting the base material (crushed rock, sand, or gravel), electric compaction equipment is recommended to ensure a firm and even base.

How do I Apply Filler to the Turf Installation?

To apply filler to the turf installation, LawnPop suggests first removing the topsoil to a depth of about three inches. Afterward, fill this space with your chosen base material (such as crushed rock, sand, or gravel) until it’s level with the ground. This base material is then compacted and layered repeatedly until a firm, level base is achieved. This base not only supports the artificial turf but also contributes to proper drainage and weed prevention.

For more detailed guidance on preparing your ground for artificial grass or to get started with your installation, you can contact LawnPop directly. They offer expertise in all aspects of artificial grass installation, including ground preparation, and can work with you to ensure your artificial turf looks beautiful and lasts for years.